Why chatbots fail (and why natural languages are hard)

We have previously touched on how to make your chatbot a success, top chatbots and  how many chatbots fail (a list that is constantly growing). Today, we will show you why it is hard for chatbots to hold human-like conversations, and why dealing with natural languages is hard.

Natural Languages are old and quite irregular

It is important to define the natural language concept as we begin. Natural languages are the product of thousands of years of speech patterns, evolved to fit the needs of a particular community at a particular time. They are very fluid, as there can be a lot of change over time (think Victorian English). Although we may attempt to catalogue the different rules of natural languages, they eventually get replaced by new rules, and in some cases, they diverge so much that the new set of rules essentially become a new language. Read more

Share

Why publicly trained chatbots are not always a good idea

We have previously touched on how to make your chatbot a success, and also, how many chatbots fail (a list that is constantly growing). Today, we will show you how seemingly harmless chatbots learn to make racist and sexist comments, and what you can do to avoid that.

Background

Chatbots used to be, as described by our previous posts, handcoded FAQ services, presented in a conversational way. They were highly rigid in terms of what they could understand and what they could achieve. However, due to their simplicity, they would only say what you deemed appropriate. They would not learn inappropriate responses, because they could not learn. Read more

Share

Top 25 successful chatbots of 2019 & Reasons for their success

Robots answering calls

Though hype about chatbots is increasing, chatbot failure stories continue to get more visibility as well. From Microsoft to Communist Party of China, we have listed examples showing that no one is immune to suffering from chatbot failures. However, success stories are rare and ambitious conversational interface designers need to study them because for every hundreds of failures, there is only a few success stories.

Here we cover all text based bots. We also added Alexa even though she is a voice bot because of her immense impact in this space. While some bots like, XiaoIce, respond to your commands, other bots like Facebook M listen in to your conversations and offer suggestions. Bots are a relatively new user interface and success is elusive so we wanted to be broad in our scope. And in case you first want to learn more about chatbots, we have a great article for that. Read more

Share

Top 30 Chatbot Applications / Usecases: in-Depth Guide [2019]

Chatbots have become the buzzword du jour but brands with successful chatbots are rare. We are more likely to find pages full of chatbot failure stories. Here we outline the successful areas of chatbot application.

Starting from the use cases mentioned by potential users above on Drift’s 2018 State of Chatbots Report, we methodically analyzed potential areas of chatbot applications.

First of all, we are talking about chatbots in a platform-agnostic manner. Whether they are on your website, Facebook Messenger, email on some other platform, chatbots are essentially conversational interfaces. We can divide up use cases for conversational interfaces into two categories: reactive and proactive. Read more

Share

Chatbots: In-depth Conversational Bots Guide [2019 update]

After the recent news from Cambridge Analytica, Facebook is no longer allowing new chatbots. This issue will be solved in a few weeks, after handling all the privacy-related issues. In the meantime let’s review why chatbots are important and what are the current trends.

Humans are good at talking and listening. They are one of the first things we learn and it is hypothesized that the sophistication of our language which allows us to coordinate using imaginary entities sets us apart from other animals. Therefore it is no surprise that people are excited about chatbots as they offer a language interface to the digital world. Read more

Share